Whitby Hydro Energy Services Corp.
Power Factor Correction at the Residential Level – Pilot Project Report to the LDC Tomorrow Fund
September 12, 2005
Executive Summary In December of 2004 Whitby Hydro applied for funding from the EDA Tomorrow Fund to carry out a pilot project to determine the impact of installing capacitors at residential homes on system capacitance and generation requirements. The study involved 31 homes within Whitby Hydro’s distribution territory. The houses selected were located in a new residential neighbourhood and were consistent in size, age and type of heating. For the pilot, a bench mark had to be established for the loading of each transformer. The ...view middle of the document...
Even though an attempt was made to pick homes with similar characteristics there was enough variance in how and when motor loads where used to cause inconsistency between the transformers. This made it difficult to determine the full effect that the added capacitance had on Power Factor at the transformer. However, based on the fact that KW and KVAR were being measured it was easy to see the impact the added capacitance had on KVAR at the transformer. Also because KVAR is a factor when determining generation requirements, this unit of measurement would allowed us to determine the impact on provincial generation. The improvements in KVAR was as follows:
March (KVAR) TX5545(BM) TX5554 TX5547 4.2041 2.3756 3.1778
April (KVAR) 3.3670 2.3999 2.6754
May (KVAR) 3.0253 -.9916 .9480
June (KVAR) 7.1944 -4.3036 3.0449
July (KVAR) 7.5343 -4.0268 2.9364
To further verify the impact of the capacitance on power factor two homes where measured. . These homes where fitted with capacitors that would turn on and off on twenty four hour cycles to show day to day comparison on power factor. Typically, the average power factor when the units where off was 87%. When the units were turned on the power factor was over 99%. To get a real understanding of positive impact power factor correction has on generation costs benefit analysis was carried out to see if such a project would make sense on mass. Four assumptions where used in this analysis: 1. a typical home has a 5kW demand 2. the cost of new generation is about $1,000,000 an MVA 3. a typical homes power factor is improved from 87% to 99% when 3.34 KVAR of capacitance is add 4. the cost of the Power Medix units is $450,000 installed With an example of 1000 homes each using the above information, the generation requirement would be 5.75MVA (5kW/.87PF x 1000). By installing capacitance at the residential level the requirement of the generator for the 1000 homes would now only be 5.05MVA (5kW/.99PF X 1000) or 700 KVA less. Therefore the cost to generate 700 KVA would be $700,000 (.700MVA X $1,000,000). The cost to supply and install capacitance at the residential level to free up the same amount of capacitance would be $450,000. The environment and health costs associated with the generation of electricity are also removed making the economics even stronger. The pilot project showed that the installation of capacitors at the residential level is a viable option in freeing up capacitance within the province is deployed on mass. The savings can also be achieved without having the customer drastically changing their lifestyle. The following report provides the details and back up information for the analysis.
Purpose The following report outlines the process, procedures and results of a pilot project carried out by Whitby Hydro to determine if providing power factor correction at residential homes frees up capacity at pad mount transformers and therefore reduces load on utility...